Overwintering plants are capable of exhibiting high levels of cold tolerance, which is acquired through the process of cold acclimation (CA). In contrast to CA, the acquired freezing tolerance is rapidly reduced during cold de-acclimation (DA) and plants resume growth after sensing warm temperatures. In order to better understand plant growth and development, and to aid in the breeding of cold-tolerant plants, it is important to decipher the functional mechanisms of the DA process. In this study, we performed comparative transcriptomic and proteomic analyses during CA and DA. As revealed by shotgun proteomics, we identified 3,987 peptides originating from 1,569 unique proteins and the corresponding mRNAs were analyzed. Among the 1,569 genes, 658 genes were specifically induced at the transcriptional level during the process of cold acclimation. In order to investigate the relationship between mRNA and the corresponding protein expression pattern, a Pearson correlation was analyzed. Interestingly, 199 genes showed a positive correlation of mRNA and protein expression pattern, indicating that both their transcription and translation occurred during CA. However, 226 genes showed a negative correlation of mRNA and protein expression pattern, indicating that their mRNAs were transcribed during CA and were stored for the subsequent DA step. Under this scenario, those proteins were specifically increased during DA without additional transcription of mRNA. In order to confirm the negative correlation of mRNA and protein expression patterns, qRT-PCR and western blot analyses were performed. Mitochondrial malate dehydrogenase1 (mMDH1) exhibited a negative correlation of mRNA and protein levels, which was characterized by CA-specific mRNA induction and protein accumulation specifically during DA. These data indicate that the expression of specific mRNAs and subsequent accumulation of corresponding proteins are not always in accordance under low temperature stress conditions in plants.
Plants have evolved strong innate immunity mechanisms, but successful pathogens evade or suppress plant immunity via effectors delivered into the plant cell. Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis (Hpa) causes downy mildew on Arabidopsis thaliana, and a genome sequence is available for isolate Emoy2. Here, we exploit the availability of genome sequences for Hpa and Arabidopsis to measure gene-expression changes in both Hpa and Arabidopsis simultaneously during infection. Using a high-throughput cDNA tag sequencing method, we reveal expression patterns of Hpa predicted effectors and Arabidopsis genes in compatible and incompatible interactions, and promoter elements associated with Hpa genes expressed during infection. By resequencing Hpa isolate Waco9, we found it evades Arabidopsis resistance gene RPP1 through deletion of the cognate recognized effector ATR1. Arabidopsis salicylic acid (SA)-responsive genes including PR1 were activated not only at early time points in the incompatible interaction but also at late time points in the compatible interaction. By histochemical analysis, we found that Hpa suppresses SA-inducible PR1 expression, specifically in the haustoriated cells into which host-translocated effectors are delivered, but not in non-haustoriated adjacent cells. Finally, we found a highly-expressed Hpa effector candidate that suppresses responsiveness to SA. As this approach can be easily applied to host-pathogen interactions for which both host and pathogen genome sequences are available, this work opens the door towards transcriptome studies in infection biology that should help unravel pathogen infection strategies and the mechanisms by which host defense responses are overcome.
Bacterial wilt phytopathogen Ralstonia solanacearum is a serious soil-borne disease that attacks several economically important plants worldwide, including Brassicaceae. Previous studies indicate that recognition of avirulence (Avr)-effector PopP2 by resistance (R) protein, RRS1-R, and physical interaction between RRS1-R and PopP2 in the nucleus are required for resistance. Of late, we showed that a pair of Arabidopsis thaliana TIR-NLR proteins, RRS1 and RPS4, function together in disease resistance against multiple pathogen isolates. Here, we report that dual R proteins, RRS1 and RPS4, from A. thaliana ecotype Wassilewskija confer resistance to bacterial wilt in transgenic Brassica crops. For practical applications, this finding may provide a new strategy for developing disease resistant plants that express R genes from other plants.
Autophagy is a fundamental process in the plant life story, playing a key role in immunity, senescence, nutrient recycling, and adaptation to the environment. Transcriptomics and metabolomics of the rosette leaves of Arabidopsis thaliana autophagy mutants (atg) show that autophagy is essential for cell homeostasis and stress responses and that several metabolic pathways are affected. Depletion of hexoses, quercetins, and anthocyanins parallel the overaccumulation of several amino acids and related compounds, such as glutamate, methionine, glutathione, pipecolate, and 2-aminoadipate. Transcriptomic data show that the pathways for glutathione, methionine, raffinose, galacturonate, and anthocyanin are perturbed. Anthocyanin depletion in atg mutants, which was previously reported as a possible defect in flavonoid trafficking to the vacuole, appears due to the downregulation of the master genes encoding the enzymes and regulatory proteins involved in flavonoid biosynthesis. Overexpression of the PRODUCTION OF ANTHOCYANIN PIGMENT1 transcription factor restores anthocyanin accumulation in vacuoles of atg mutants. Transcriptome analyses reveal connections between autophagy and (1) salicylic acid biosynthesis and response, (2) cytokinin perception, (3) oxidative stress and plant defense, and possible interactions between autophagy and the COP9 signalosome machinery. The metabolic and transcriptomic signatures identified for the autophagy mutants are discussed and show consistencies with the observed phenotypes.
During plant radial growth typically seen in trees, procambial and cambial cells act as meristematic cells in the vascular system to self-proliferate and differentiate into xylem cells. These two processes are regulated by a signalling pathway composed of a peptide ligand and its receptor; tracheary element differentiation inhibitory factor (TDIF) and TDIF RECEPTOR (TDR). Here we show that glycogen synthase kinase 3 proteins (GSK3s) are crucial downstream components of the TDIF signalling pathway suppressing xylem differentiation from procambial cells. TDR interacts with GSK3s at the plasma membrane and activates GSK3s in a TDIF-dependent fashion. Consistently, a specific inhibitor of plant GSK3s strongly induces xylem cell differentiation through BRI1-EMS SUPPRESSOR 1 (BES1), a well-known target transcription factor of GSK3s. Our findings provide insight into the regulation of cell fate determination in meristem maintenance.
Peroxisomes are essential organelles that are characterized by the possession of enzymes that produce hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) as part of their normal catalytic cycle. During the metabolic process, peroxisomal proteins are inevitably damaged by H2O2 and the integrity of the peroxisomes is impaired. Here, we show that autophagy, an intracellular process for vacuolar degradation, selectively degrades dysfunctional peroxisomes. Marked accumulation of peroxisomes was observed in the leaves but not roots of autophagy-related (ATG)-knockout Arabidopsis thaliana mutants. The peroxisomes in leaf cells contained markedly increased levels of catalase in an insoluble and inactive aggregate form. The chemically inducible complementation system in ATG5-knockout Arabidopsis provided the evidence that these accumulated peroxisomes were delivered to vacuoles for degradation by autophagy. Interestingly, autophagosomal membrane structures specifically recognized the abnormal peroxisomes at the site of the aggregates. Thus, autophagy is essential for the quality control of peroxisomes in leaves and for proper plant development under natural growth conditions.
The rapid production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) burst is a conserved signaling output in immunity across kingdoms. In plants, perception of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) by surface-localized pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) activates the NADPH oxidase RBOHD by hitherto unknown mechanisms. Here, we show that RBOHD exists in complex with the receptor kinases EFR and FLS2, which are the PRRs for bacterial EF-Tu and flagellin, respectively. The plasma-membrane-associated kinase BIK1, which is a direct substrate of the PRR complex, directly interacts with and phosphorylates RBOHD upon PAMP perception. BIK1 phosphorylates different residues than calcium-dependent protein kinases, and both PAMP-induced BIK1 activation and BIK1-mediated phosphorylation of RBOHD are calcium independent. Importantly, phosphorylation of these residues is critical for the PAMP-induced ROS burst and antibacterial immunity. Our study reveals a rapid regulatory mechanism of a plant RBOH, which occurs in parallel with and is essential for its paradigmatic calcium-based regulation.
Jasmonates have crucial roles in plant responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. Given the importance of transcriptional regulation in jasmonate-mediated stress responses, transcription factors are key regulators of jasmonate signaling. The transcription factors JASMONATE-ASSOCIATED MYC2-LIKE 1 (JAM1), JAM2, and JAM3 are negative regulators of jasmonate signaling, although the mechanisms that control the activities of these transcription factors remain unclear. To understand the regulatory mechanisms of JAM proteins, we used a yeast two-hybrid assay to screen for protein interaction partners of JAM1 and found that JAM1 interacted with JAZ proteins.
The first line of defense in plants against pathogens is induced by the recognition of microbe-associated molecular patterns (MAMP). Perception of bacterial flagellin (flg22) by the pattern recognition receptor flagellin-sensing 2 (FLS2) is the best characterized MAMP response, although the underlying molecular mechanisms are not fully understood. Here we studied the relationship between salicylic acid (SA) or jasmonic acid (JA) signaling and FLS2-mediated signaling by monitoring flg22-triggered responses in known SA or JA related mutants of Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. The sid2 mutant, impaired in SA biosynthesis, had less basal FLS2 mRNA accumulation than the wild type, which correlated with suppression of early flg22 responses such as ROS production and induction of marker genes, WRKY29 and FRK1. The JA-signaling mutants, jar1 and coi1, exhibited an enhanced flg22-triggered oxidative burst and more callose accumulation than the wild type, and pretreatment with SA or coronatine (COR), a structural mimic of JA-isoleucine, altered these flg22-induced responses. Nonexpressor of pathogenesis-related genes 1 (NPR1) acted downstream of SID2 and required SA-dependent priming for the enhanced flg22-triggered oxidative burst and callose deposition. Activation of JA signaling by COR pretreatment suppressed the flg22-triggered oxidative burst and callose accumulation in a coronatine insensitive 1 (COI1) dependent manner. COR had a negative effect on flg22 responses but only the flg22-triggered oxidative burst depended on SA-JA/COR signaling antagonism. Thus the activated SA and JA signaling pathways have an influence on flg22-triggered oxidative burst and callose deposition. These results may explain how SA and JA signaling are cross talked for regulation of flg22-triggered responses.
Jasmonates regulate transcriptional reprogramming during growth, development, and defense responses. Jasmonoyl-isoleucine, an amino acid conjugate of jasmonic acid (JA), is perceived by the protein complex composed of the F-box protein CORONATINE INSENSITIVE1 (COI1) and JASMONATE ZIM DOMAIN (JAZ) proteins, leading to the ubiquitin-dependent degradation of JAZ proteins. This activates basic helix-loop-helix-type MYC transcription factors to regulate JA-responsive genes. Here, we show that the expression of genes encoding other basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors, JASMONATE ASSOCIATED MYC2-LIKE1 (JAM1), JAM2, and JAM3, is positively regulated in a COI1- and MYC2-dependent manner in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). However, contrary to myc2, the jam1jam2jam3 triple mutant exhibited shorter roots when treated with methyl jasmonate (MJ), indicating enhanced responsiveness to JA. Our genome-wide expression analyses revealed that key jasmonate metabolic genes as well as a set of genes encoding transcription factors that regulate the JA-responsive metabolic genes are negatively regulated by JAMs after MJ treatment. Consistently, loss of JAM genes resulted in higher accumulation of anthocyanin in MJ-treated plants as well as higher accumulation of JA and 12-hydroxyjasmonic acid in wounded plants. These results show that JAMs negatively regulate the JA responses in a manner that is mostly antagonistic to MYC2.
The genus Striga comprises about 30 obligate root-parasitic plants, commonly known as witchweeds. In particular, S.?hermonthica, S.?asiatica and S.?gesnerioides cause immense losses to major stable crops in sub-Saharan Africa. Most Striga species parasitize grass species (Poaceae), but Striga gesnerioides has evolved to parasitize dicotyledonous plants. Aspects of phylogeny, economic impact, parasitic life style and molecular discoveries are briefly reviewed to profile one of the main biotic constraints to African agriculture.
RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) play an important role in plant host-microbe interactions. In this study, we show that the plant RBP known as FPA, which regulates 3-end mRNA polyadenylation, negatively regulates basal resistance to bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae in Arabidopsis. A custom microarray analysis reveals that flg22, a peptide derived from bacterial flagellins, induces expression of alternatively polyadenylated isoforms of mRNA encoding the defence-related transcriptional repressor ETHYLENE RESPONSE FACTOR 4 (ERF4), which is regulated by FPA. Flg22 induces expression of a novel isoform of ERF4 that lacks the ERF-associated amphiphilic repression (EAR) motif, while FPA inhibits this induction. The EAR-lacking isoform of ERF4 acts as a transcriptional activator in vivo and suppresses the flg22-dependent reactive oxygen species burst. We propose that FPA controls use of proximal polyadenylation sites of ERF4, which quantitatively limit the defence response output.
Plants control CO2 uptake and water loss by modulating the aperture of stomata located in the epidermis. Stomatal opening is initiated by the activation of H(+)-ATPases in the guard-cell plasma membrane. In contrast to regulation of H(+)-ATPase activity, little is known about the translocation of the guard cell H(+)-ATPase to the plasma membrane. Here we describe the isolation of an Arabidopsis gene, PATROL1, that controls the translocation of a major H(+)-ATPase, AHA1, to the plasma membrane. PATROL1 encodes a protein with a MUN domain, known to mediate synaptic priming in neuronal exocytosis in animals. Environmental stimuli change the localization of plasma membrane-associated PATROL1 to an intracellular compartment. Plasma membrane localization of AHA1 and stomatal opening require the association of PATROL1 with AHA1. Increased stomatal opening responses in plants overexpressing PATROL1 enhance the CO2 assimilation rate, promoting plant growth.
The hypersensitive response (HR) is a type of strong immune response found in plants that is accompanied by localized cell death. However, it is unclear how HR can block a broad range of pathogens with different infective modes. In this study, we report that ?-glutamylcysteine synthetase GSH1, which is critical for glutathione biosynthesis, and tryptophan (Trp) metabolism contribute to HR and block development of fungal pathogens with hemibiotrophic infective modes. We found that GSH1 is involved in the penetration2 (PEN2)-based entry control of the nonadapted hemibiotroph Colletotrichum gloeosporioides. However, Arabidopsis mutants specifically defective in entry control terminated further growth of the pathogen in the presence of HR cell death, whereas gsh1 mutants supported pathogen invasive growth in planta, demonstrating the requirement of GSH1 for postinvasive nonhost resistance. Remarkably, on the basis of the phenotypic and metabolic analysis of Arabidopsis mutants defective in Trp metabolism, we showed that biosynthesis of Trp-derived phytochemicals is also essential for resistance to C. gloeosporioides during postinvasive HR. By contrast, GSH1 and these metabolites are likely to be dispensable for the induction of cell death during postinvasive HR. Furthermore, the resistance to Ralstonia solanacearum 1/resistance to Pseudomonas syringae 4 dual Resistance gene-dependent immunity of Arabidopsis to the adapted hemibiotroph shared GSH1 and cytochromes P450 CYP79B2/CYP79B3 with postinvasive nonhost resistance, whereas resistance to P. syringae pv. maculicola 1 and resistance to P. syringae 2-based Resistance gene resistance against bacterial pathogens did not. These data suggest that the synthesis of glutathione and Trp-derived metabolites during HR play crucial roles in terminating the invasive growth of both nonadapted and adapted hemibiotrophs.
NB-LRR-type disease resistance (R) genes have been used in traditional breeding programs for crop protection. However, functional transfer of NB-LRR-type R genes to plants in taxonomically distinct families to establish pathogen resistance has not been successful. Here we demonstrate that a pair of Arabidopsis (Brassicaceae) NB-LRR-type R genes, RPS4 and RRS1, properly function in two other Brassicaceae, Brassica rapa and B. napus, but also in two Solanaceae, Nicotiana benthamiana and tomato (Solanum lycopersicum). The solanaceous plants transformed with RPS4/RRS1 confer bacterial effector-specific immunity responses. Furthermore, RPS4 and RRS1, which confer resistance to a fungal pathogen Colletotrichum higginsianum in Brassicaceae, also protect against Colletotrichum orbiculare in cucumber (Cucurbitaceae). Thus the successful transfer of two R genes at the family level overcomes restricted taxonomic functionality. This implies that the downstream components of R genes must be highly conserved and interfamily utilization of R genes can be a powerful strategy to combat pathogens.
The translocation of effector proteins into the host plant cells is essential for pathogens to suppress plant immune responses. The oomycete pathogen Phytophthora infestans secretes AVR3a, a crucial virulence effector protein with an N-terminal RXLR motif that is required for this translocation. It has been reported that the RXLR motif of P. sojae Avr1b, which is a close homolog of AVR3a, is required for binding to phosphatidylinositol monophosphates (PIPs). However, in our previous report, AVR3a as well as Avr1b bind to PIPs not via RXLR but via lysine residues forming a positively-charged area in the effector domain. In this report, we examined whether other RXLR effectors whose structures have been determined bind to PIPs. Both P. capsici AVR3a11 and Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis ATR1 have an RXLR motif in their N-terminal regions but did not bind to any PIPs. These results suggest that the RXLR motif is not sufficient for PIP binding.
A major class of disease resistance (R) genes which encode nucleotide binding and leucine rich repeat (NB-LRR) proteins have been used in traditional breeding programs for crop protection. However, it has been difficult to functionally transfer NB-LRR-type R genes in taxonomically distinct families. Here we demonstrate that a pair of Arabidopsis (Brassicaceae) NB-LRR-type R genes, RPS4 and RRS1, properly function in two other Brassicaceae, Brassica rapa and Brassica napus, but also in two Solanaceae, Nicotiana benthamiana and tomato (Solanum lycopersicum). The solanaceous plants transformed with RPS4/RRS1 confer bacterial effector-specific immunity responses. Furthermore, RPS4 and RRS1, which confer resistance to a fungal pathogen Colletotrichum higginsianum in Brassicaceae, also protect against Colletotrichum orbiculare in cucumber (Cucurbitaceae). Importantly, RPS4/RRS1 transgenic plants show no autoimmune phenotypes, indicating that the NB-LRR proteins are tightly regulated. The successful transfer of two R genes at the family level implies that the downstream components of R genes are highly conserved. The functional interfamily transfer of R genes can be a powerful strategy for providing resistance to a broad range of pathogens.
The emergence of shotgun proteomics has paved the way for high-throughput proteome analysis, by which thousands of proteins can be identified simultaneously from complex samples. Although the shotgun approach has the potential to monitor many different post-translational modifications, further technological development is needed to enrich each post-translational modificome. Large-scale in vivo phosphorylation site mapping, so-called shotgun phosphoproteomics, has become feasible in various organisms, including plants, owing to recent technological breakthroughs. Shotgun phosphoproteomics is not a mature technology, but progress has been rapid. In this review, we highlight the scope and limitations of current methods, and some key technological issues in this field.
The phytohormone auxin plays critical roles in the regulation of plant growth and development. Indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) has been recognized as the major auxin for more than 70 y. Although several pathways have been proposed, how auxin is synthesized in plants is still unclear. Previous genetic and enzymatic studies demonstrated that both TRYPTOPHAN AMINOTRANSFERASE OF ARABIDOPSIS (TAA) and YUCCA (YUC) flavin monooxygenase-like proteins are required for biosynthesis of IAA during plant development, but these enzymes were placed in two independent pathways. In this article, we demonstrate that the TAA family produces indole-3-pyruvic acid (IPA) and the YUC family functions in the conversion of IPA to IAA in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) by a quantification method of IPA using liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-tandem MS. We further show that YUC protein expressed in Escherichia coli directly converts IPA to IAA. Indole-3-acetaldehyde is probably not a precursor of IAA in the IPA pathway. Our results indicate that YUC proteins catalyze a rate-limiting step of the IPA pathway, which is the main IAA biosynthesis pathway in Arabidopsis.
The oomycete pathogen Phytophthora infestans causes potato late blight, one of the most economically damaging plant diseases worldwide. P. infestans produces AVR3a, an essential modular virulence effector with an N-terminal RXLR domain that is required for host-cell entry. In host cells, AVR3a stabilizes and inhibits the function of the E3 ubiquitin ligase CMPG1, a key factor in host immune responses including cell death triggered by the pathogen-derived elicitor protein INF1 elicitin. To elucidate the molecular basis of AVR3a effector function, we determined the structure of Phytophthora capsici AVR3a4, a close homolog of P. infestans AVR3a. Our structural and functional analyses reveal that the effector domain of AVR3a contains a conserved, positively charged patch and that this region, rather than the RXLR domain, is required for binding to phosphatidylinositol monophosphates (PIPs) in vitro. Mutations affecting PIP binding do not abolish AVR3a recognition by the resistance protein R3a but reduce its ability to suppress INF1-triggered cell death in planta. Similarly, stabilization of CMPG1 in planta is diminished by these mutations. The steady-state levels of non-PIP-binding mutant proteins in planta are reduced greatly, although these proteins are stable in vitro. Furthermore, overexpression of a phosphatidylinositol phosphate 5-kinase results in reduction of AVR3a levels in planta. Our results suggest that the PIP-binding ability of the AVR3a effector domain is essential for its accumulation inside host cells to suppress CMPG1-dependent immunity.
Heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) is a highly conserved and essential molecular chaperone involved in maturation and activation of signaling proteins in eukaryotes. HSP90 operates as a dimer in a conformational cycle driven by ATP binding and hydrolysis. HSP90 often functions together with co-chaperones that regulate the conformational cycle and/or load a substrate "client" protein onto HSP90. In plants, immune sensing NLR (nucleotide-binding domain and leucine-rich repeat containing) proteins are among the few known client proteins of HSP90. In the process of chaperoning NLR proteins, co-chaperones, RAR1 and SGT1 function together with HSP90. Recent structural and functional analyses indicate that RAR1 dynamically controls conformational changes of the HSP90 dimer, allowing SGT1 to bridge the interaction between NLR proteins and HSP90. Here, we discuss the regulation of NLR proteins by HSP90 upon interaction with RAR1 and SGT1, emphasizing the recent progress in our understanding of the structure and function of the complex. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Heat Shock Protein 90 (HSP90).
Plants within the Orobanchaceae are an agriculturally important group of parasites that attack economically important crops to obtain water and nutrients from their hosts. Despite their agricultural importance, molecular mechanisms of the parasitism are poorly understood.
The potato (Solanum tuberosum) nucleotide binding-leucine-rich repeat immune receptor Rx confers resistance to Potato virus X (PVX) and requires Ran GTPase-activating protein 2 (RanGAP2) for effective immune signaling. Although Rx does not contain a discernible nuclear localization signal, the protein localizes to both the cytoplasm and nucleus in Nicotiana benthamiana. Transient coexpression of Rx and cytoplasmically localized RanGAP2 sequesters Rx in the cytoplasm. This relocation of the immune receptor appeared to be mediated by the physical interaction between Rx and RanGAP2 and was independent of the concomitant increased GAP activity. Coexpression with RanGAP2 also potentiates Rx-mediated immune signaling, leading to a hypersensitive response (HR) and enhanced resistance to PVX. Besides sequestration, RanGAP2 also stabilizes Rx, a process that likely contributes to enhanced defense signaling. Strikingly, coexpression of Rx with the Rx-interacting WPP domain of RanGAP2 fused to a nuclear localization signal leads to hyperaccumulation of both the WPP domain and Rx in the nucleus. As a consequence, both Rx-mediated resistance to PVX and the HR induced by auto-active Rx mutants are significantly suppressed. These data show that a balanced nucleocytoplasmic partitioning of Rx is required for proper regulation of defense signaling. Furthermore, our data indicate that RanGAP2 regulates this partitioning by serving as a cytoplasmic retention factor for Rx.
While exogenous toxic compounds such as herbicides are thought to be sequestered into vacuoles in the form of glutathione (GSH) conjugates, little is understood about natural plant products conjugated with GSH. To identify natural products conjugated with GSH in plants, metabolites in the Arabidopsis ?-glutamyl transpeptidase (ggt) 4 knockout mutants that are blocked in the degradation of GSH conjugates in the vacuole were compared with those in wild-type plants. Among the metabolites identified, one was confirmed to be the 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid (OPDA)-GSH conjugate, indicating that OPDA, a precursor of jasmonic acid (JA), is transported into the vacuole as a GSH conjugate.
The tracheary elements (TEs) of the xylem serve as the water-conducting vessels of the plant vascular system. To achieve this, TEs undergo secondary cell wall thickening and cell death, during which the cell contents are completely removed. Cell death of TEs is a typical example of developmental programmed cell death that has been suggested to be autophagic. However, little evidence of autophagy in TE differentiation has been provided. The present study demonstrates that the small GTP binding protein RabG3b plays a role in TE differentiation through its function in autophagy. Differentiating wild type TE cells were found to undergo autophagy in an Arabidopsis culture system. Both autophagy and TE formation were significantly stimulated by overexpression of a constitutively active mutant (RabG3bCA), and were inhibited in transgenic plants overexpressing a dominant negative mutant (RabG3bDN) or RabG3b RNAi (RabG3bRNAi), a brassinosteroid insensitive mutant bri1-301, and an autophagy mutant atg5-1. Taken together, our results suggest that autophagy occurs during TE differentiation, and that RabG3b, as a component of autophagy, regulates TE differentiation.
Horizontal gene transfer has been postulated to occur between crops to co-occurring parasitic plants, but empirical evidence has been lacking. We present evidence that an HGT event moved a nuclear monocot gene into the genome of the eudicot parasite witchweed (Striga hermonthica), which infects many grass species in Africa. Analysis of expressed sequence tags revealed that the genome of S. hermonthica contains a nuclear gene that is widely conserved among grass species but is not found in other eudicots. Phylogenetically, this gene clusters with sorghum genes, the monocot host of the parasitic weed, suggesting that nuclear genes can be captured by parasitic weeds in nature.
Knowledge of phosphorylation events and their regulation is crucial to understand the functional biology of plants. Here, we report a large-scale phosphoproteome analysis in the model monocot rice (Oryza sativa japonica Nipponbare), an economically important crop. Using unfractionated whole-cell lysates of rice cells, we identified 6,919 phosphopeptides from 3,393 proteins. To investigate the conservation of phosphoproteomes between plant species, we developed a novel phosphorylation-site evaluation method and performed a comparative analysis of rice and Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). The ratio of tyrosine phosphorylation in the phosphoresidues of rice was equivalent to those in Arabidopsis and human. Furthermore, despite the phylogenetic distance and the use of different cell types, more than 50% of the phosphoproteins identified in rice and Arabidopsis, which possessed ortholog(s), had an orthologous phosphoprotein in the other species. Moreover, nearly half of the phosphorylated orthologous pairs were phosphorylated at equivalent sites. Further comparative analyses against the Medicago phosphoproteome also showed similar results. These data provide direct evidence for conserved regulatory mechanisms based on phosphorylation in plants. We also assessed the phosphorylation sites on nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeat proteins and identified novel conserved phosphorylation sites that may regulate this class of proteins.
The obligate parasitic plant witchweed (Striga hermonthica) infects major cereal crops such as sorghum, maize, and millet, and is the most devastating weed pest in Africa. An understanding of the nature of its parasitism would contribute to the development of more sophisticated management methods. However, the molecular and genomic resources currently available for the study of S. hermonthica are limited.
Plant immune responses require the coordination of a myriad of processes that are triggered upon perception of invading pathogens. Ubiquitin, the ubiquitination system (UBS) and the 26S proteasome are key for the regulation of processes such as the oxidative burst, hormone signaling, gene induction, and programmed cell death. E3 ligases, the specificity determinants of ubiquitination, have received by far the most attention. Several single-unit ligases, which are rapidly induced by biotic cues, function as both positive and negative regulators of immune responses, whereas multisubunit ligases are mainly involved in hormone signaling. An increasing body of evidence emphasizes the heavy targeting of the UBS by pathogen virulence effectors, underlining its importance in immunity.
The NLR (nucleotide-binding domain and leucine-rich repeat containing) proteins provide pathogen-sensing systems that are conserved in both plants and animals. They can be activated directly or indirectly by pathogen-derived molecules through mechanisms that remain largely elusive. Studies in plants revealed that the molecular chaperone, HSP90, and its co-chaperones, SGT1 and RAR1, are major stabilizing factors for NLR proteins. More recent work indicates that SGT1 and HSP90 are also required for the function of NLR proteins in mammals, underscoring the evolutionary conservation of innate immune system regulatory mechanisms. Comparative analyses of plant and mammalian NLR proteins, together with recent insights provided by the structure of SGT1-HSP90 complex, have begun to uncover the mechanisms by which immune NLR sensors are regulated.
Hsp90-mediated function of NLR receptors in plant and animal innate immunity depends on the cochaperone Sgt1 and, at least in plants, on a cysteine- and histidine-rich domains (CHORD)-containing protein Rar1. Functionally, CHORD domains are associated with CS domains, either within the same protein, as in the mammalian melusin and Chp1, or in separate but interacting proteins, as in the plant Rar1 and Sgt1. Both CHORD and CS domains are independently capable of interacting with the molecular chaperone Hsp90 and can coexist in complexes with Hsp90. We have now determined the structure of an Hsp90-CS-CHORD ternary complex, providing a framework for understanding the dynamic nature of Hsp90-Rar1-Sgt1 complexes. Mutational and biochemical analyses define the architecture of the ternary complex that recruits nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeat receptors (NLRs) by manipulating the structural elements to control the ATPase-dependent conformational cycle of the chaperone.
Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved intracellular process for vacuolar degradation of cytoplasmic components. In higher plants, autophagy defects result in early senescence and excessive immunity-related programmed cell death (PCD) irrespective of nutrient conditions; however, the mechanisms by which cells die in the absence of autophagy have been unclear. Here, we demonstrate a conserved requirement for salicylic acid (SA) signaling for these phenomena in autophagy-defective mutants (atg mutants). The atg mutant phenotypes of accelerated PCD in senescence and immunity are SA signaling dependent but do not require intact jasmonic acid or ethylene signaling pathways. Application of an SA agonist induces the senescence/cell death phenotype in SA-deficient atg mutants but not in atg npr1 plants, suggesting that the cell death phenotypes in the atg mutants are dependent on the SA signal transducer NONEXPRESSOR OF PATHOGENESIS-RELATED GENES1. We also show that autophagy is induced by the SA agonist. These findings imply that plant autophagy operates a novel negative feedback loop modulating SA signaling to negatively regulate senescence and immunity-related PCD.
Colletotrichum higginsianum is a fungal pathogen that infects a wide variety of cruciferous plants, causing important crop losses. We have used map-based cloning and natural variation analysis of 19 Arabidopsis ecotypes to identify a dominant resistance locus against C. higginsianum. This locus named RCH2 (for recognition of C. higginsianum) maps in an extensive cluster of disease-resistance loci known as MRC-J in the Arabidopsis ecotype Ws-0. By analyzing natural variations within the MRC-J region, we found that alleles of RRS1 (resistance to Ralstonia solanacearum 1) from susceptible ecotypes contain single nucleotide polymorphisms that may affect the encoded protein. Consistent with this finding, two susceptible mutants, rrs1-1 and rrs1-2, were identified by screening a T-DNA-tagged mutant library for the loss of resistance to C. higginsianum. The screening identified an additional susceptible mutant (rps4-21) that has a 5-bp deletion in the neighboring gene, RPS4-Ws, which is a well-characterized R gene that provides resistance to Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato strain DC3000 expressing avrRps4 (Pst-avrRps4). The rps4-21/rrs1-1 double mutant exhibited similar levels of susceptibility to C. higginsianum as the single mutants. We also found that both RRS1 and RPS4 are required for resistance to R. solanacearum and Pst-avrRps4. Thus, RPS4-Ws and RRS1-Ws function as a dual resistance gene system that prevents infection by three distinct pathogens.
The nucleotide-binding domain and leucine-rich repeat-containing (NLR) proteins function as immune sensors in both plants and animals. NLR proteins recognize, directly or indirectly, pathogen-derived molecules and trigger immune responses. To function as a sensor, NLR proteins must be correctly folded and maintained in a recognition-competent state in the appropriate cellular location. Upon pathogen recognition, conformational changes and/or translocation of the sensors would activate the downstream immunity signaling pathways. Misfolded or used sensors are a threat to the cell and must be immediately inactivated and discarded to avoid inappropriate activation of downstream pathways. Such maintenance of NLR-type sensors requires the SGT1-HSP90 pair, a chaperone complex that is structurally and functionally conserved in eukaryotes. Deciphering how the chaperone machinery works would facilitate an understanding of the mechanisms of pathogen recognition and signal transduction by NLR proteins in both plants and animals.
* Witchweeds (Striga spp.) are major agricultural pests that infest important crops in sub-Saharan Africa. Striga hermonthica parasitizes gramineous plants including sorghum, maize and rice, but not dicots. To understand host recognition mechanisms of S. hermonthica, we investigated its interaction with nonhost dicots including Arabidopsis, cowpea, Lotus japonicus and Phtheirospermum japonicum, a hemiparasite. * Striga hermonthica seeds were pretreated with strigol, a germination stimulant, and allowed to germinate next to a potential host root. We characterized the histological phenotype of the interactions. Moreover, we monitored the infection of a host rice and the nonhost P. japonicum by S. hermonthica using time-lapse photography. * All nonhost dicots tested did not support S. hermonthica shoot growth beyond the six leaf-pair stage; however, the arrest of parasite development occurred at different stages. Striga hermonthica haustoria were able to reach the steles of Arabidopsis and cowpea, while L. japonicus blocked S. hermonthica infection in the root cortex. Striga hermonthica often failed to penetrate P. japonicum roots. * Our analysis indicates that there are at least four types of incompatible interaction to S. hermonthica. Combinations of these different incompatibility mechanisms contribute to the total resistance to S. hermonthica.
Hemibiotrophic fungal plant pathogens represent a group of agronomically significant disease-causing agents that grow first on living tissue and then cause host death in later, necrotrophic growth. Among these, Colletotrichum spp. are devastating pathogens of many crops. Identifying expanded classes of genes in the genomes of phytopathogenic Colletotrichum, especially those associated with specific stages of hemibiotrophy, can provide insights on how these pathogens infect a large number of hosts. The genomes of Colletotrichum orbiculare, which infects cucurbits and Nicotiana benthamiana, and C. gloeosporioides, which infects a wide range of crops, were sequenced and analyzed, focusing on features with potential roles in pathogenicity. Regulation of C. orbiculare gene expression was investigated during infection of N. benthamiana using a custom microarray. Genes expanded in both genomes compared to other fungi included sequences encoding small, secreted proteins (SSPs), secondary metabolite synthesis genes, proteases and carbohydrate-degrading enzymes. Many SSP and secondary metabolite synthesis genes were upregulated during initial stages of host colonization, whereas the necrotrophic stage of growth is characterized by upregulation of sequences encoding degradative enzymes. Hemibiotrophy in C. orbiculare is characterized by distinct stage-specific gene expression profiles of expanded classes of potential pathogenicity genes.
Plant pathogens are perceived by pattern recognition receptors, which are activated upon binding to pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). Ubiquitination and vesicle trafficking have been linked to the regulation of immune signaling. However, little information exists about components of vesicle trafficking involved in immune signaling and the mechanisms that regulate them. In this study, we identified Arabidopsis thaliana Exo70B2, a subunit of the exocyst complex that mediates vesicle tethering during exocytosis, as a target of the plant U-box-type ubiquitin ligase 22 (PUB22), which acts in concert with PUB23 and PUB24 as a negative regulator of PAMP-triggered responses. We show that Exo70B2 is required for both immediate and later responses triggered by all tested PAMPs, suggestive of a role in signaling. Exo70B2 is also necessary for the immune response against different pathogens. Our data demonstrate that PUB22 mediates the ubiquitination and degradation of Exo70B2 via the 26S Proteasome. Furthermore, degradation is regulated by the autocatalytic turnover of PUB22, which is stabilized upon PAMP perception. We therefore propose a mechanism by which PUB22-mediated degradation of Exo70B2 contributes to the attenuation of PAMP-induced signaling.
Plant activators are agrochemicals that activate the plant immune system, thereby enhancing disease resistance. Due to their prophylactic and durable effects on a wide spectrum of diseases, plant activators can provide synergistic crop protection when used in combination with traditional pest controls. Although plant activators have achieved great success in wet-rice farming practices in Asia, their use is still limited. To isolate novel plant activators applicable to other crops, we screened a chemical library using a method that can selectively identify immune-priming compounds. Here, we report the isolation and characterization of three diuretics, bumetanide, bendroflumethiazide and clopamide, as immune-priming compounds. These drugs upregulate the immunity-related cell death of Arabidopsis suspension-cultured cells induced with an avirulent strain of Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato in a concentration-dependent manner. The application of these compounds to Arabidopsis plants confers disease resistance to not only the avirulent but also a virulent strain of the pathogen. Unlike salicylic acid, an endogenous phytohormone that governs disease resistance in response to biotrophic pathogens, the three diuretic compounds analyzed here do not induce PR1 or inhibit plant growth, showing potential as lead compounds in a practical application.
Plant activators are agrochemicals that protect crops from diseases by activating the plant immune system. To isolate lead compounds for use as practical plant activators, we screened two different chemical libraries composed of various bioactive substances by using an established screening procedure that can selectively identify immune-priming compounds. We identified and characterized a group of sulfonamide compounds - sulfameter, sulfamethoxypyridazine, sulfabenzamide, and sulfachloropyridazine - among the various isolated candidate molecules. These sulfonamide compounds enhanced the avirulent Pseudomonas-induced cell death of Arabidopsis suspension cell cultures and increased disease resistance in Arabidopsis plants against both avirulent and virulent strains of the bacterium. These compounds did not prevent the growth of pathogenic bacteria in minimal liquid media at 200 ?M. They also did not induce the expression of defense-related genes in Arabidopsis seedlings, at least not at 24 and 48 h after treatment, suggesting that they do not act as salicylic acid analogs. In addition, although sulfonamides are known to be folate biosynthesis inhibitors, the application of folate did not restore the potentiation effects of the sulfonamides on pathogen-induced cell death. Our data suggest that sulfonamides potentiate Arabidopsis disease resistance by their novel chemical properties.
Plant activators are chemical crop protectants that fortify the immune system in plants. Unlike pesticides that target pathogens, plant activators provide durable effects against a broad spectrum of diseases, which have not been overcome by pathogenic microbes. Plant activators are not only useful agrochemicals, but can also help to elucidate the details of the plant immune system. Using an established high-throughput screening procedure, we previously identified 5 compounds, designated as Imprimatins, which prime plant immune response. These compounds increased disease resistance against pathogenic Pseudomonas bacteria in Arabidopsis plants by inhibiting 2 salicylic acid (SA) glucosyltransferases (SAGTs), resulting in accumulation of the phytohormone SA. Here, we report the isolation of 2 additional Imprimatins, B3 and B4, which are structurally similar to Imprimatin B1 and B2. Because these compounds did not have strong inhibitory effects on SAGTs in vitro, they may exert their function after metabolic conversion in vivo.
Plant activators are agrochemicals that protect plants from a broad range of pathogens by activating the plant immune system. Unlike pesticides, they do not target pathogens; therefore, plant activators provide durable effects that are not overcome by pathogenic microbes. Although certain plant activators have been applied to paddy fields for more than 30 years, the molecular basis of the underlying immune induction are unclear. From the screening of 10,000 diverse chemicals by a high-throughput screening procedure to identify compounds that specifically enhance pathogen-induced cell death in Arabidopsis cultured cells, we identified 7 compounds, which we designated as immune priming chemicals (Imprimatins). These compounds increased disease resistance against pathogenic Pseudomonas bacteria in Arabidopsis plants. Pretreatments increased the accumulation of endogenous salicylic acid (SA) but reduced its metabolite, SA-O-?-D-glucoside (SAG). Imprimatins inhibited the enzymatic activities of 2 SA glucosyltransferases (SAGTs) in vitro at concentrations effective for immune priming. Single and double knockout Arabidopsis plants for both SAGTs consistently exhibited enhanced disease resistance and SA accumulation. Our results demonstrate that the control of the free SA pool through SA-inactivating enzymes can be a useful methodology to confer disease resistance in plants. SAGTs can pave the way for target-based discovery of novel crop protectants.
Plant activators are agrochemicals that protect crops from pathogens. They confer durable resistance to a broad range of diseases by activating intrinsic immune mechanisms in plants. To obtain leads regarding useful compounds, we have screened a chemical library using an established method that allows selective identification of immune-priming compounds. Here, we report the characterisation of one of the isolated chemicals, imprimatinC1, and its structural derivative imprimatinC2. ImprimatinC1 functions as a weak analogue of salicylic acid (SA) and activates the expression of defence-related genes. However, it lacks antagonistic activity toward jasmonic acid. Structure-activity relationship analysis suggests that imprimatinC1 and C2 can be metabolised to 4-chlorobenzoic acid and 3,4-chlorobenzoic acid, respectively, to function in Arabidopsis. We also found that imprimatinC1 and C2 and their potential functional metabolites acted as partial agonists of SA. Thus, imprimatinC compounds could be useful tools for dissecting SA-dependent signal transduction pathways.
Arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) represents an ancient endosymbiosis between plant roots and Glomeromycota fungi. Strigolactones (SLs), plant-derived terpenoid lactones, activate hyphal branching of AM fungi before physical contact. Lack of SL biosynthesis results in lower colonization of AM fungi. The F-box protein, DWARF3 (D3), and the hydrolase family protein DWARF14 (D14) are crucial for SL responses in rice. Here we conducted AM fungal colonization assays with the SL-insensitive d3 and d14 mutants. The d3 mutant exhibited strong defects in AM fungal colonization, whereas the d14 mutant showed higher AM fungal colonization. As D14 has a homologous protein, D14-LIKE, we generated D14-LIKE knockdown lines by RNA interference in the wildtype and d14 background. D14 and D14-LIKE double knockdown lines exhibited similar colonization rates as those of the d14-1 mutant. D3 is crucial for establishing AM symbiosis in rice, whereas D14 and D14-LIKE are not. Our results suggest distinct roles for these SL-related components in AM symbiosis.
Plant activators are compounds, such as analogs of the defense hormone salicylic acid (SA), that protect plants from pathogens by activating the plant immune system. Although some plant activators have been widely used in agriculture, the molecular mechanisms of immune induction are largely unknown. Using a newly established high-throughput screening procedure that screens for compounds that specifically potentiate pathogen-activated cell death in Arabidopsis thaliana cultured suspension cells, we identified five compounds that prime the immune response. These compounds enhanced disease resistance against pathogenic Pseudomonas bacteria in Arabidopsis plants. Pretreatments increased the accumulation of endogenous SA, but reduced its metabolite, SA-O-?-d-glucoside. Inducing compounds inhibited two SA glucosyltransferases (SAGTs) in vitro. Double knockout plants that lack both SAGTs consistently exhibited enhanced disease resistance. Our results demonstrate that manipulation of the active free SA pool via SA-inactivating enzymes can be a useful strategy for fortifying plant disease resistance and may identify useful crop protectants.
Obligate parasitic plants in the family Orobanchaceae, such as Striga and Orobanche (including Phelipanche) spp., parasitize important crops and cause severe agricultural damage. Recent molecular studies have begun to reveal how these parasites have adapted to hosts in a parasitic lifecycle. The parasites detect nearby host roots and germinate by a mechanism that seems to have evolved from a conserved germination system found in non-parasites. The development of a specialized infecting organ called a haustorium is a unique feature of plant parasites and is triggered by host compounds and redox signals. Newly developed genomic and genetic resources will facilitate more rapid progress toward a molecular understanding of plant parasitism.
Colletotrichum species are fungal pathogens that devastate crop plants worldwide. Host infection involves the differentiation of specialized cell types that are associated with penetration, growth inside living host cells (biotrophy) and tissue destruction (necrotrophy). We report here genome and transcriptome analyses of Colletotrichum higginsianum infecting Arabidopsis thaliana and Colletotrichum graminicola infecting maize. Comparative genomics showed that both fungi have large sets of pathogenicity-related genes, but families of genes encoding secreted effectors, pectin-degrading enzymes, secondary metabolism enzymes, transporters and peptidases are expanded in C. higginsianum. Genome-wide expression profiling revealed that these genes are transcribed in successive waves that are linked to pathogenic transitions: effectors and secondary metabolism enzymes are induced before penetration and during biotrophy, whereas most hydrolases and transporters are upregulated later, at the switch to necrotrophy. Our findings show that preinvasion perception of plant-derived signals substantially reprograms fungal gene expression and indicate previously unknown functions for particular fungal cell types.
Thermospermine, a structural isomer of spermine, is synthesized by a thermospermine synthase designated ACAULIS5 (ACL5). Thermospermine-deficient acl5 mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana shows severe dwarfism and excessive xylem differentiation. By screening for compounds that affect xylem differentiation in the acl5 mutant, we identified auxin analogs that remarkably enhanced xylem vessel differentiation in the acl5 mutant but not in the wild type. The xylem-inducing effect of auxin analogs was clearly suppressed by thermospermine, indicating that auxin-inducible xylem differentiation is normally limited by thermospermine. Here, we further characterized xylem-inducing effect of auxin analogs in various organs. Auxin analogs promoted protoxylem differentiation in roots and cotyledons in the acl5 mutant. Our results indicate that the opposite action between thermospermine and auxin in xylem differentiation is common in different organs and also suggest that thermospermine might be required for the suppression of protoxylem differentiation.
Seedling roots display not only gravitropism but also hydrotropism, and the two tropisms interfere with one another. In Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) roots, amyloplasts in columella cells are rapidly degraded during the hydrotropic response. Degradation of amyloplasts involved in gravisensing enhances the hydrotropic response by reducing the gravitropic response. However, the mechanism by which amyloplasts are degraded in hydrotropically responding roots remains unknown. In this study, the mechanistic aspects of the degradation of amyloplasts in columella cells during hydrotropic response were investigated by analyzing organellar morphology, cell polarity and changes in gene expression. The results showed that hydrotropic stimulation or systemic water stress caused dramatic changes in organellar form and positioning in columella cells. Specifically, the columella cells of hydrotropically responding or water-stressed roots lost polarity in the distribution of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), and showed accelerated vacuolization and nuclear movement. Analysis of ER-localized GFP showed that ER redistributed around the developed vacuoles. Cells often showed decomposing amyloplasts in autophagosome-like structures. Both hydrotropic stimulation and water stress upregulated the expression of AtATG18a, which is required for autophagosome formation. Furthermore, analysis with GFP-AtATG8a revealed that both hydrotropic stimulation and water stress induced the formation of autophagosomes in the columella cells. In addition, expression of plastid marker, pt-GFP, in the columella cells dramatically decreased in response to both hydrotropic stimulation and water stress, but its decrease was much less in the autophagy mutant atg5. These results suggest that hydrotropic stimulation confers water stress in the roots, which triggers an autophagic response responsible for the degradation of amyloplasts in columella cells of Arabidopsis roots.
Thermospermine, a structural isomer of spermine, is produced through the action of ACAULIS5 (ACL5) and suppresses xylem differentiation in Arabidopsis thaliana. To elucidate the molecular basis of the function of thermospermine, we screened chemical libraries for compounds that can modulate xylem differentiation in the acl5 mutant, which is deficient in thermospermine and shows a severe dwarf phenotype associated with excessive proliferation of xylem vessels. We found that the isooctyl ester of a synthetic auxin, 2,4-D, remarkably enhanced xylem vessel differentiation in acl5 seedlings. 2,4-D, 2,4-D analogs and IAA analogs, including 4-chloro IAA (4-Cl-IAA) and IAA ethyl ester, also enhanced xylem vessel formation, while IAA alone had little or no obvious effect on xylem differentiation. These effects of auxin analogs were observed only in the acl5 mutant but not in the wild type, and were suppressed by the anti-auxin, p-chlorophenoxyisobutyric acid (PCIB) and ?-(phenyl ethyl-2-one)-IAA (PEO-IAA), and also by thermospermine. Furthermore, the suppressor of acaulis51-d (sac51-d) mutation, which causes SAC51 overexpression in the absence of thermospermine and suppresses the dwarf phenotype of acl5, also suppressed the effect of auxin analogs in acl5. These results suggest that the auxin signaling that promotes xylem differentiation is normally limited by SAC51-mediated thermospermine signaling but can be continually stimulated by exogenous auxin analogs in the absence of thermospermine. The opposite action between thermospermine and auxin may fine-tune the timing and spatial pattern of xylem differentiation.
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